Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Quantum physics

Watching an atom tunnel

Physicists have managed to watch individual hydrogen atoms move on metal surfaces at very low temperatures — in defiance of classical physics.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Hydrogen atoms on a copper surface can quantum tunnel at low temperatures.

WILSON HO

References

  1. Lauhon, L. J. & Ho, W. Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 4566–4569 (2000).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Völkl, J. & Alefeld, G. in Hydrogen in Metals I (eds Alefeld, G. & Völkl, J.) Ch. 1 (Springer, New York, 1978).

    Google Scholar 

  3. DiFoggie, R. & Gomer, R. Phys. Rev. B 25, 3490–3511 (1982).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Daniels, E. A. & Gomer, R. Surf. Sci. 336, 245–261 (1995).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Yazdani, A. & Lieber, C. M. Nature 401, 227–230 (1999).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Stipe, B. C., Rezaei, M. A. & Ho, W. Science 280, 1732–1735 (1998).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Leggett, A. J. et al. Rev. Mod. Phys. 59, 1–85 (1987).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Blatter, G. Nature 406, 25–26 (2000).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ali Yazdani.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Yazdani, A. Watching an atom tunnel. Nature 409, 471–472 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1038/35054175

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/35054175

Further reading

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing